Frequently Asked Questions:
Please take a look through the list of questions and answers listed below. These are some of the more common questions I have encountered about professionally designed and installed outdoor lighting. If you don't see the answer to your question listed below, please feel free to contact me here with any questions you might have.
Why choose a lighting specialist over a landscaper to install my lighting?
While it is true that many landscapers are now using landscape lighting to add yet another dimension to their business, most of them are using it only as an "add-on" feature or as a freebie to help them land a job. In reality they are really short changing their clients from having a truly well designed lighting project, created exclusively for their lifestyle. A few bullet lights under a couple of trees and an under-lit wall or two is usually the extent of the "lighting Package" from most landscape companies. Most do not posses the expertise and have not done the thorough research to keep up on the latest materials, techniques and design and installation methods. A specialist will know how to achieve the very best results and longevity from a professional lighting system. Put this way, if you needed heart surgery would you use your general practitioner or would you hire a heart surgeon? Outdoor lighting is not a sideline for us...It is our specialty.
How long will the installation of the lighting take?
We strive to install all of our projects in a timely manner. However, every project is unique and presents it's own set of challenges. Therefore, the time of installation can vary somewhat between projects. As a rule of thumb, most average projects will take between 1-3 days from start to finish based on scope and scale.
Will the installation tear up my yard?
Believe it or not, at least 90% of the lighting we install is located within the confines of mulch beds. Think of it this way, the majority of your home is mostly, if not fully surrounded by plantings within mulch beds. Most of what our clients are wanting highlighted is located within these beds. Your home, most trees and shrubs as well pathways and steps are usually all located in these mulched areas which are easily pulled back and re-spread when we are installing wiring and fixtures. Most of our wiring is bundled and buried 6"-8" deep right next to the foundation of your home where it is safely tucked away from prying shovels. On the occasion that we do need to run through grass, we use a technique called "slit-trenching". In this method of trenching , there is no soil removal. We simply open a deep v in the grass with a specially made spade. The cable is tucked in deep and we then seem the sides back together like stitching 2 pieces of cut skin back together. When we are done a slight line "may" show for a week or two and will then blend back in to the other grass and you won't even know we were there.
Who will be installing my lighting?
Outdoor lighting is a specialty industry. I believe that it is important to personally design, install and maintain my clients' systems to the highest standards, which is why I install them myself. I won't leave it to an 8.00 an hour laborer who is only concerned about how fast he can get done and get off work. It is important to me that the final result be as I personally envisioned before the commencement of the project. I will utilize labor to dig, trench and install cable with my guidance, however, the fixture placement, wiring and adjustment is something I do personally. Call me a control freak, but I believe in leaving nothing to chance because I back everything I install. The guy you buy from is also the guy that installs it and warranty's it. This way there are no details that are over looked and you get the highest performing, highest quality system that you expect. Lite4 is a small company dedicated to delivering very personalized service fpr it's discriminating clients.
What kind of lighting equipment will you be using?
I use only high grade, solid brass and copper fixtures. The transformers I use are multi-volt units in a stainless steel, weather tight case. I do not limit myself to one particular brand of lighting due to the fact that no one manufacturer can provide the best piece of equipment for every application. I will choose the best fixture for each particular situation. This may sound like it is going to be a mishmash of differing equipment , but this is not the case. All of the equipment will have the same look and finish, so it appears they all came from the same manufacturer. I will not use cheap, aluminum fixtures. These will only last a short time before the powder coat finish begins to fail and the fixture falls apart.
Will I be picking which fixtures I want?
Yes and No. When I am putting a lighting design together, I don't stop and ask myself; "which light fixture do I want to put here". Instead, all of the design hinges on the light source to be used. I have to determine how much light I need against a surface or up in a tree. How bright I need it to be or how wide I need the beam of light to project. I will determine if I will be using a lense to spread or tweak the light beam to create a different effect. Once I have determined which LED I will be using, I then determine which fixture will work best for each given location and situation. I believe in seeing the effect of the lighting and not the source. I would rather you see a beautifully lit wall or piece of sculpture instead of having your eyes drawn to a light fixture. The majority of the fixtures I use are task specific, although they are quite attractive and will blend into the landscape nicely, they are chosen for a purpose. Now path lighting is a bit more subjective and I will let you choose the style of path light that is appealing to you since the effect from each is about the same.
How much does a professionally designed and installed lighting system cost?
The cost of a professionally designed system will vary from house to house. Since each job is tailor made to each project, there just simply are no "kits" that can be effectively put together without cutting corners on design or compromising the final look. There are many factors involved but we can give you some ball park numbers based on past experience. Please click the link here to see our basic cost sheet and you will get a general idea of what to expect based on the pictures.
What kind of maintenance is involved in keeping my system working like new?
Even though we use the best quality brass and copper materials that are made to withstand the rigors of the outdoor environment, there is still a degree of maintenance that needs to be done periodically to keep your system looking and working like new. Please click the link here to see read a brief summary of what a typical maintenance check involves. We do offer this convenient service to our clients on a regularly scheduled annual and semi-annual basis, based simply on the size of the system and amount of vegetation near and around the fixtures.
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